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" ordain " eight lay members of the Calvinistic Methodist
body in 181 1 ; and Calvinistic Methodism became, and has
ever since continued, a separate organization.

The history of the Church in Wales during our period is
certainly not one of which any churchmen need be ashamed.
She numbered among her prelates some highly distinguished
men, who strove to do their duty to the flocks over which they
were called to preside. Let us take the greatest first. Bishop
Horsley was Bishop of St. David's from 1788 to 1793, and
Bishop of St. Asaph from 1802 to 1806, and was very far
from being a roi faineant in either capacity. At St. David's
he began to do the work which was most of all needed in

' See Bishop Watson's Anecdotes of his own life.


Wales — that of raising the status of the Welsh clergy. He
helped them both by his purse and by his counsel, and
successfully insisted upon the minimum stipend of a curate
being raised from £"/ to the not extravagant sum of iJ"i5 per
annum. It appears also that candidates for holy orders had
been accustomed to receive the whole of their training in a
Dissenting academy ! No imputation is intended against the
efficiency of this academy in its way ; but how could it possibly
train clergymen to present the Church's system in its fulness to
their people ? Bishop Horsley refused to receive certificates
from Castle Howell, the name of this Carmarthen college, as
guarantees for the eligibility of candidates ; and surely no
right-minded Dissenter could blame him for so doing. He
was in his seventieth year when he was translated from
Rochester to St. Asaph ; but in spite of his years, the old
man set himself bravely to do the uphill work of a Welsh
diocese, and was not content with being a mere cipher.
Some of his great Charges, which rank among the finest
compositions of the age, were in the first instance delivered
in Wales.

Dr. Copleston, the highly distinguished Provost of Oriel,
having been Dean of Chester for a few years, was appointed
Bishop of Llandaff in 1828. It is true that he also held
with the bishopric the deanery of St. Paul's, and that the
duties of the two offices ought to have been incompatible ;
but it was the interests of St. Paul's, not those of Llandaff,
that were sacrificed. He w^as a working bishop, setting him-
self especially to the sorely needed task of bringing about
the restoration of churches and the erection of glebe houses ;
twenty new churches and fifty-three glebe houses were built
during his incumbency. This does not seem a large number,
according to our modern notions, but, judged by the standard
of the eighteenth century, it was gigantic. Bishop Copleston
also set the wholesome example of requiring a knowledge of
the Welsh tongue from the clergy whom he instituted to
livings. This was all the more creditable to him, because he
did not feel so strongly as some did the necessity of the
accomplishment, arguing that as in Wales all public business
was conducted in English, most Welsh people could easily
train themselves to understand the English services.


Again, Dr. Herbert Marsh, who, in my opinion, ranks, in
point of ability, next to Bishop Horsley among the prelates
of the period, occupisd the see of Llandaff from 1816 to
1 8 19, and worked conscientiously in his diocese. But the
bishop who of all others made his mark upon the Church in
Wales was Thomas Burgess, who held the see of St. David's
from 1803 to 1825. Those twenty-two years were really a
memorable era in one at least of the Welsh dioceses. Nothing
was more wanted than the supply of a better education, espe-
cially to the future clergy. Few of them could afford the
expense of an Englis'i University, and bishops had to be
content with candidates for holy orders who had gained
such a smattering of knowledge as the Welsh grammar
schools could supply. In the first instance. Bishop Burgess
wisely tried to improve the grammar schools themselves.
He licensed four of thsm, and required seven years' study at
one of them before he would accept a candidate at all. But
this was, of course, only a partial remedy of the evil ; and the
bishop set himself, with a dogged determination, to establish
a college, to be managed on the lines of those at Oxford and
Cambridge, both for a general and for a specially theological
training. This was a thing that could not be done in a day
or in a year. So the bishop regularly set aside a part of his
own income for the purpose, and persuaded many of his
clergy to set aside a tenth of their own wretched stipends
for the same end. The result was that in seventeen years
i^i 1,000 was collected; and the bishop, being able to show
what the Welsh had been willing to do for themselves, felt
justified in appealing for aid to the king and to the English
Universities. The appeal was not made in vain ; and in 1822
the foundation of St. David's College at Lampeter was laid.^
The college was not ready for opening until 1827, by which
time Bishop Burgess was translated to Salisbury ; but he still
took a deep interest in the scheme, and to him above all others
belongs the chief credit of the first adequate effort to supply
a higher education to the Church in Wales which had been
made for more than a thousand years. In other respects
also Bishop Burgess showed himself a most active and

' Mr. Harford, of Blaise Castle, who afterwards wrote a Life of Bishop Burgess,
gave the site.


efficient prelate. The very year after his appointment (1804)
he estabhshed a " Society for promoting Christian Knowledge
and Church Union in the Diocese of St. David's," the aims
of which were " to raise the standard of classical education,
to provide English and Sunday schools for the poor, to spread
religious books, and to found libraries and a superannuation
fund for the poorer clergy." He was most particular in the
conducting of his Confirmations and Ordinations ; he refused
to induct clergy ignorant of Welsh into Welsh-speaking
parishes ; in fact, he did all that an earnest and energetic
bishop could do to advance the cause and raise the standard
of the Church in Wales.^

Though all this refers only to one of the four dioceses,
it must be remembered that St. David's was still virtually the
metropolitan see of the principality ; that it was almost equal
in area to the three other dioceses put together; that it claimed
as its founder the patron saint of Wales ; and that its cathedral
was by far the largest and most imposing of all the Welsh
cathedrals. It might, therefore, claim to lead the way and
give the tone to the rest.^

But practically Llandafif was the most important. There
alone the difficulty occurred which has been noticed in this
chapter in connection with the Church in England. Wales
was even worse prepared than England to meet the emergency
caused by an immense increase of trade, and the consequent
rise of vast centres of population. The discovery of iron ore
and coal in the beautiful hills of Glamorganshire changed
a quiet, pastoral, and sparsely populated district into a busy
centre of industry, with a population which doubled and
trebled itself with marvellous rapidity. In its most active
time it would have been difficult for the Church to keep pace
with the rapid increase of work which devolved upon it ; but
the Church in Wales had been as inactive as it had been in
England, while it was embarrassed in a way that England
was not, by the bilingual difficulty. This necessitated in

' How highly Bishop Burgess's achievements were appreciated in his diocese
may be seen from an address presented to him on his leaving it, which has been
quoted on p. 6. See Harford's Life of Bishop Burgess, p. 361.

* See Four Bio!(raphical Skeiches, by Rev. John Morgan, p. 69. Mr. Morgan
gives many very interesting details of Church life and work at a rather later period
than we are concerned with.


many places a double staff of clergy, one for the Welsh-
speaking, and the other for the English-speaking, population.
But it is needless to follow further the history of the
Church in Wales separately. The history of the Church of
England is the history of the Church in Wales. They were
one and the same Church, and had been so for more than
six hundred years — ever since the Welsh bishops gave in
their allegiance to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1172.
No doubt there are special circumstances in connection with
the Church in Wales, some of which have been noticed ;
but so there are in connection with the Church, say, in Corn-
wall, or in Lincolnshire, or in the Black Country ; but to
make these the subject of a separate chapter would only be
to foster the notion that there is a difference between the
Church on the one and on the other side of the " Marches,"
and thus to falsify history.




Before entering upon the subjects of this and the two
following chapters, it is necessary to explain why the titles
of them — "Orthodox," "Evangelicals," "Liberals" — have
been chosen in preference to the more obvious ones — " High
Churchmen," " Low Churchmen," " Broad Churchmen." The
choice has not been made without much hesitation, much
deliberation, and much consultation with those who appeared
competent to give an opinion. The reasons of the decision
finally arrived at are as follows : To describe the parties
treated of in Chapters III. and IV. simply as "Low Church-
men " and " Broad Churchmen " respectively would be utterly
misleading. In the nomenclature of the eighteenth and early
nineteenth centuries the Broad Churchman would be the Low
Churchman. Burnet, Hoadly, Blackburn, and Paley would
be called Low Churchmen ; but they had very little in com-
mon with the typical Evangelical. As for the term " Broad
Churchmen," it did not, so far as my reading enables me to
judge, exist. " High Churchmen " was, of course, a well-
known title, and the party which is the subject of the present
chapter would doubtless fall under that designation. But
to term them " High Churchmen," in contradistinction to
" Evangelicals " and " Liberals," would be a cross-division,
" low " and " broad " being the natural correlatives to " high."
Moreover, there would be a danger of confounding them
with the " Church and State" men, who were also csiWed par
excellence " High Churchmen." The adoption of the term
" Orthodox," by which they were at least as frequently
designated in their own day, obviates both those objections ;
and hence it is, with some misgivings, chosen.


It is frequently said that the old Orthodox or High
Church party was fast asleep, if it had not entirely died out,
before it was revived by the Oxford Movement. But this
mode of stating the case is far too strong. The High Church
party had never ceased to exist or even to be active. It had
suffered a grievous loss — far more grievous than the mere
counting of heads would indicate — by the retirement of the
Nonjurors in 1689 and 1714; but it was beginning to recover
from that loss before the nineteenth century commenced. It
suffered, perhaps, still more severely from being mixed up
with another party, with which it really had only an acci-
dental connection. There was no reason in the nature of
things why the true High Churchmen should have been
specially identified with the maintenance of " our happy
constitution in Church and State," to use a familiar phrase of
the day. Indeed, their principles rendered them more in-
dependent of any connection with the State than any other
party in the Church could be. If "our happy constitution"
had been entirely broken up, it would not have made the
slightest difference to the essential position of the High
Churchman. This is so obvious to us now that it sounds
like a truism, but it would have sounded strangely in the
ears of our forefathers. To them a High Churchman meant
one who was the strongest supporter of Church and State ;
and so indeed he was, as a matter of fact. None supported
the established constitution more ably and consistently than
the High Churchmen. They were better equipped for the
task than any other party. Valuing deeply the science of
theology, they studied it more thoroughly and systematically
than any other class did. Indeed, strange as it may sound
to some, I venture to think that the majority of competent
divines in the early part of this century were what we should
now call distinctly High Churchmen.

A few passages selected from writers of note, written in a
way which shows that they did not regard their doctrines as
innovations, but such as would command the assent of all
who called themselves Churchmen, will serve to illustrate
this. Bishop Horsley was, beyond all question, the ablest
and most eminent prelate still living at the commencement
of the nineteenth century ; and this is the way in which he


expresses his Church principles : •' To be a Higli Churchman in
the only sense which the word can be allowed to bear as
applicable to any in the present day — God forbid that this
should ever cease to be my public pretension, my pride,
my glory ! . . . In the language of our modern sectaries,
every one is a High Churchman who is not unwilling to
recognize so much as the spiritual authority of the priest-
hood ; every one who, denying what we ourselves disclaim,
anything of a divine right to temporalities, acknowledges,
however, in the sacred character, somewhat more divine than
may belong to the mere hired servants of the State or of the
laity ; and regards the services which we are thought to
perform for our pay as something more than a part to
be gravely played in the drama of human politics. My
reverend brethren, we must be content to be High Church-
men according to this usage of the word, or we cannot be
Churchmen at all ; for he who thinks of God's ministers as
the mere servants of the State is out of the Church, severed
from it by a kind of self-excommunication." ^ Next to
Bishop Horsley, Bishop Van Mildert was perhaps the ablest
theological writer during our period. In his Bampton
Lectures (1814), when he was Regius Professor of Divinity,
he dwells upon what he considers " the essential doctrines of
the Church," among which he includes " the ordinances of
the Christian Sacraments and the Priesthood ;" and then he
adds, " We are speaking now, it will be recollected, of what
in ecclesiastical history is emphatically called The Church ;
that which has from age to age borne rule upon the ground
of its pretensions to Apostolical Succession." Archdeacon
Daubeny, again, was a man of considerable mark in his day,
and his testimony is equally explicit. "If," he says, "the
title of High Churchman conveys any meaning beyond that
of a decided and principled attachment to the apostolic
government of the Church, as originally established under
the direction of the Holy Spirit by its Divine Founder (from
whom alone a commission to minister in holy things can
properly be derived), it is a meaning for which those must
be answerable who understand and maintain it ; the sense
annexed to that title, in my mind, containing in it nothing

' First Charge of the Bishop of St. David's, 1790.


but in what every sound minister of the Church of England
ought to glory." ^ And again, " I could have wished to see
the Church described in its independence of every human
establishment ; vested with those spiritual powers which it
possesses in itself; in the exercise of which every individual
ought to be governed by the authority from which alone
those powers are derived." ^ " To God," writes Archdeacon
Wrangham, in 1823, "and not to a patronizing Crown or to
an electing people, we authoritatively refer our origin as a
ministry. For Christ, we are expressly told in Scripture,
sent His apostles with a power to send others, thus providing
an unbroken succession for all coming ages, and promised to
be with them always, even to the end of the world." ^

It would be easy to multiply instances to the same effect,*
but enough, perhaps, has been quoted to show that the High
Churchmen had not died out How is it, then, that the idea
that they had has so generally prevailed ?

Perhaps one reason is that, so far from being too diffident,
they were too confident in their cause. They took it for
granted that their views would be understood and accepted,
and that there was no need to do more than simply to state
them. But, as a matter of fact, this was not so. Englishmen
recognized, and were proud of, the Church of England as a
great national institution ; but, as Sir W. Palmer says most
truly, " the notion of the Church as a spiritual body possess-
ing a faith and a conscience like other religious bodies, had
died out." ^ It had died out, that is, among the main body
of the nation, upon the mind of which the High Churchmen
had certainly failed to impress their own convictions. Indeed,
they themselves laid too much stress upon the fact of their

* Guide to the Church, i. introd. xliv., 2nd edit., 1804. (The first edition was
published in 1798.)

* Id., \. 307.

' Charge to the archdeaconry of Cleveland, 1823.

* See, for instance, S. T. Coleridge, On the Constitution of the Church and
Slate, according to the Idea of each, pp. 65, 126, 135, 136; H. J. Rose's sermon
before the Suffolk Society, The Churchman's Duty and Comfort in the Present
Time; Life of Bishop Jehb ; A. Knox's Remains, passim ; and, above all, the
remarkable prophecy of Thomas Sikes, quoted in Dr. Pusey's Letter to the Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, 1842, pp. 33, 34.

* A Narrative of Events connected with the Publication of the Tracts for the
Times, introduction to the edition published in 1883, p. 39.


belonging to an established Church. The circumstances of
the times tempted them to do so. When established insti-
tutions were being violently upset in neighJDOuring countries,
it was natural that they should dwell upon the duty of
maintaining in its integrity the great establishment of which
they were officers ; and hence the higher view of their office,
though it was never ignored by them, was, as a rule, kept too
much in the background. There is another kindred reason,
which is so admirably stated by a thoughtful writer in 1841,
that I cannot do better than quote his words. " The difference,"
he writes, "between the High Churchmen of the present day
[that is, after the Oxford Movement] and their immediate
predecessors, does not consist so much in the formal enuncia-
tion of doctrine, as in the fact that, just before our own day,
those Church principles were only held negatively which now
are put forward positively. Their abettors were then but
too apt to use them for no purposes but defensive ones. Such
negative and defensive views never could tell greatly on the
public mind or produce influence on the heart." ^

At any rate, be the cause what it may, it is to be feared
that the very names of a number of Churchmen, who were
not only men of the highest character and attainments, but
also did practical work, the benefits of which the Church is
reaping at the present day, are all but forgotten ; and, in
common gratitude, it should be one of the first duties of any
historian of the Church of the period to bring such men
prominently before his readers.

The year 1800 witnessed the death of one of the ablest
and best among them. William Jones, Vicar of Nayland
(1726-1800), never rose to a higher dignity than that of a
country parson, but he was a man of greater eminence than
most of the dignitaries of his time. He was the chaplain
and devoted friend of Bishop Home, who died in 1792, whose
works he published, and whose biography he wrote. His
influence was a little impaired by the fact that, like his
patron, he adopted the views of the Hutchinsonians, who,
among other things, attempted the hopeless task of upsetting
the Newtonian philosophy. But these views, though eccentric
and untenable, did not touch any vital point of the faith ;

' Chris.' ian Remembrancer, preface to vol. ii,, July — DeceniljtT, 1841.


they were, in fact, held by many of the soundest Churchmen
of the day, Jones's own writings, with the exception of their
Hutchinsonianism, are most valuable. With considerable
power of humour, he defended the Church, not only in a very
able way, but also in a way which caught the popular ear ;
and personally he was regarded as one of the chief leaders
of the Orthodox party. Nayland Vicarage became a sort of
rallying-point for them ; ^ and their respect for its owner was
unbounded. Both the life and writings of William Jones, of
course, belong to the eighteenth, not to the nineteenth
century ; but it is necessary to notice him because, above all
others, he gave the tone to the true High Churchmen of the
later period. It is not without a feeling of righteous indig-
nation that one hears of such a man being in indigent
circumstances in his last years. His good friend and
biographer, William Stevens, kindly came to the rescue,
taking upon himself the expense of a curate for " the old
boy," as Jones was familiarly called by his friends, and writ-
ing to the Archbishop of Canterbury on his behalf. Arch-
bishop Moore responded nobly. He allowed Jones £100 a.
year out of his own pocket, and, with rare delicacy, obviated
any feeling of dependence which the recipient might have
entertained, by calling it " a sinecure." He was not, however,
taxed for long. It was in 1798 that Mr. Stevens wrote to
him, and on the Feast of the Epiphany, 1800, William Jones
entered into his rest. Posterity has appreciated him better
than his contemporaries did ; his works are still regarded as
classics in their way ; at any rate, their reputation is greater
than that of most of the works published during our period.
The foremost prelate of the day, Dr. Horsley, paid a deserved
tribute to William Jones's memory, describing him as "a
faithful servant of God, of whom he could speak both from
his personal knowledge and his writings. . . . He was," adds
the bishop, " a man of quick penetration, of extensive learn-
ing, of the soundest piety, and had, beyond any other man I
ever knew, the talent of writing upon the deepest subjects to
the plainest understanding." ^

' See Churton's Memoir 0/ Joshua Watson, i. 28 ; Stevens's Life of Williatn
Jones ; Lfe of William Kirby, by John Freeman, 36.

^ See Horsley's Charges : Second Charge of the Bishop of Rochester, 1800.


The death of William Jones was a grievous loss to the
High Churchmen, and there was no one who could exactly
take his place. But he left behind him many friends — one
might almost call them disciples — and these formed the
nucleus of by far the most active section of the party during
the whole of the period with which this work is concerned.

First and foremost among these was his biographer,
editor, and one may really add, benefactor, William Stevens
(1732- 1 807). Mr. Stevens never took holy orders, thinking
that he could do the Church better service, and would
be less suspected of interested motives, by continuing a
layman. Like Mr, Jones and Bishop Home (whose near
kinsman he was), he was a Hutchinsonian ; and he un-
fortunately devotes a considerable space in his " Life " of
Jones to a defence of Hutchinsonianism — a subject which
has ceased to have even an historical interest in the present
day. He had, of course, nothing like the literary talent of
his friend Mr. Jones, but it is wonderful, considering the little
education which he enjoyed, how good a scholar and theo-
logian he made himself. He was taken from school at the
age of fourteen, and apprenticed to a hosier at 68, Old Broad
Street, in the city of London, and here he found a home for
the remainder of his life, being taken into partnership in
1754. It will, of course, be remembered that the social dis-
tinction between trades and professions was not so marked
then as it is now ; so there is nothing extraordinary in the
fact of his mixing, though a tradesman, on terms of perfect
equality with the clergy and the gentry. He continued
"active in business " until 1 801, within six years of his death;
but this did not prevent him from being also "fervent in
spirit, serving the Lord." Many of the agencies for good
which employed the energies of the other High Churchmen
who will come before us did not exist in Stevens's day ; in
fact, many of them arose, indirectly but very really, through

Online LibraryJohn Henry OvertonThe English church in the nineteenth century (1800-1833) → online text (page 3 of 36)